4 Apr 2013

Tonga govt distracted from pursuing more accountability and transparency

7:11 am on 4 April 2013

A New Zealand academic says the Tonga government needs to embrace greater accountability and transparency, but it is distracted by other activities, such as the infrastructure developments.

Canterbury University political scientist, Malakai Koloamatangi, says once the democratic reforms were put in place 3 years ago the procedures of parliament should have been refined to ensure more democracy at the higher levels.

This would have included clarifying what action would be taken against MPs facing criminal charges, but nothing has been done and Dr Koloamatangi is not expected any progress on other issues before the next election.

"For example there was this talk that all legislation, all new legislation, the community had to be consulted on new legislation. As far as I understand that hasn't been done. And that was a big part of the recommendation of the constitutional commission just prior to the last election."